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Priority will be to deliver Scottish Child Payment
Social Security Secretary
Shirley Anne Somerville has updated Parliament on the impact of coronavirus
(COVID-19) on social security services in Scotland.
The majority of Social Security
Scotland staff are now working from home to support efforts to slow the spread
of Covid-19. The delivery of existing benefits continues with applications
being received, processed and payments being made.
On benefits due to be
introduced from this year, the Cabinet Secretary advised that, although they
were on track to deliver these benefits, plans have had to change as a result
of the ongoing pandemic.
The Scottish Government, DWP,
local authorities and health and social care practitioners – who are all
required to develop and deliver these benefits – are currently focused on the
response and recovery from COVID-19. As a result, the introduction of Child
Disability Payment and the Scottish Government’s replacement for Personal
Independence Payments will be delayed. UK Ministers have agreed that they will
continue to deliver disability benefits to Scottish clients over a longer
Scottish Child Payment, which
was due to be introduced from this autumn, will also be delayed. The Scottish
Government will focus its resources to deliver this as soon as practicably
possible. The aim is to start taking applications by the end of 2020 with
payments being made from 2021, subject to sufficient staff being in place.
In her statement, Ms Somerville
also outlined the markedly different approach that the Scottish Government
plans to take in its delivery of disability benefits. The new decision-making
process for this in Scotland will mean no face-to-face assessments and
decisions will be informed by the professional judgement of health and social
care practitioners – not assessors. The new process will involve the following
Social Security Scotland will make decisions using the information provided by applicants and checking this against existing guidance in the first instance
where it is not possible to make a decision, applicants will be able to tell Social Security Scotland about the health and social care professionals who already support them. Social Security Scotland will then be able to contact those professionals to collect supporting information
when it is the only practical way of collecting the information, a minority of working age clients will be invited to a discussion with a health and social care practitioner. If such a client consultation takes place, it would be arranged to suit the client, and the majority of these consultations are expected to be conducted by phone.
The safety of our health and social care workforce is an absolute priority of the Scottish Government and it is vital that workers have absolute clarity on which PPE they should wear in which setting or scenario. That is why I wanted to write to you to provide you with an update of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) availability for staff across the health and social care system.
We will be issuing almost eight million items of PPE stock in the coming week to support Primary Care and Social Care. Work continues as an absolute priority to source further PPE to ensure there continues to be an appropriate supply for all our health and social care workforce.
We monitor our supply stock, orders and delivery timelines daily and against growing demand and I can confirm we currently have adequate stock of PPE, equating to six weeks’ worth of hospital stock for the most critical items. Additional orders are continuously placed with the most recent being a further supply of FFP3 and IIR masks.
From the 30 March we introduced a number of additional steps to ensure the swift delivery of PPE to those who need it. We now have 4 delivery and distribution routes covering hospital, primary and community care, social care and the SAS. PPE supplies for pharmacy are delivered through the medicine distribution network.
We have a new dedicated email address for staff, MSPs or members of the public to raise specific supply issues. This is covid-19-health-PPE@gov.scot It will be monitored continuously and allow us to act to resolve any specific supply issues more quickly.
All of the supply and distribution of PPE follows the clinical guidance on what is required in which clinical situation or caring scenario. HPS and our Chief Nursing Officer have produced further clear information and info graphics which will be published this week and communicated directly with staff through a number of different platforms.
We are continuing to work alongside carer organisations to make sure carers have access to the right advice to help protect them are and their loved ones during this challenging period. We also know that some carers may require protective equipment should the person they are caring for be symptomatic of coronavirus. We are currently working to identify the most effective routes to direct them to the support they need.
Hospital – A Single Point of Contact (SPoC) within each health board is managing coordination of PPE available on site, and ordering more as required. This system appears to be working well with decision making being quicker due to having a SPoC in place. There is a daily call with the health board contact, National Procurement and Scottish Government where issues can be raised.
Primary Care – Currently GPs contact their local Health Board SPoC to order more PPE or arrange delivery of orders. To supplement this, a new supply route is being set up to do a proactive delivery of 8 weeks’ worth of stock to each GP practice. This will be delivered to 8 hub locations, and then direct deliveries to c. 1,000 GP practices. This will begin on Monday and all deliveries will be complete by 3 April.
Social Care supply – A social care triage hub has now been operational for one week, and this is being scaled up to improve delivery to social care providers. A range of measures have been put in place from 26 March including, additional pickers to prepare orders and additional drivers in both volume and extended delivery hours.
Alongside boosting capacity within the social care triage hub, a proactive approach is being developed in parallel. This will be deliveries of PPE to local cluster points for onward distribution or collection by social care providers. This will be in place from week commencing 30 March. The supplies will be accessible to all Care Inspectorate registered social care providers, unpaid carers, personal assistants, non-registered services providing a social care support service with roles that have a need for PPE, and hospices. There will be up to 70 cluster points across the country – these are being identified and may be schools, community centres, or other appropriate locations.
The SSSC and NES have developed a core PPE training package for social care for those who are being redeployed to care roles, and for volunteers. Scottish Ambulance Service supply – Deliveries are made direct from National Procurement to two agreed locations in the central belt which a SAS SPoC manages. This process has not changed from the previous approach and has continued to strengthen as it beds in.
I would be grateful if you could share this information with your members.
Once again, I am thankful for all the hard work each and every one of you and your members are doing to support the people of Scotland in these difficult times. Let me also stress that should you have any concerns on this or any other matter, I hope you will not hesitate to contact me directly.
Please find attached the latest edition of our Standards
Update for your information. We would be grateful if you could arrange for the
Update and/or the link provided below to be circulated to your members and any
colleagues who might find it of interest. Please also encourage them to follow
us on Twitter: @StandardsScot
and on Facebook: facebook.com/StandardsCommission/.
If you require the Update in an alternative format, please let us know.
As you will be aware, the Standards Commission’s workshop
for Standards Officers, due to be held on 23 March 2020, was postponed due to
the Covid-19 outbreak. We had intended to seek suggestions from you on
potential changes to the Model Code of Conduct, in light of the Scottish
Government’s ongoing review and forthcoming formal consultation. As we were
unable to proceed with the workshop at present, I am attaching a draft revised
version of the Model Code, with explanations about the proposed changes
included (in blue). If you have any comments or suggestions on this, please
send them to us by 30 April 2020 and we will forward them to the
Scottish Government to consider before it issues a version of the draft revised
Code for formal consultation.
Also attached is a copy of Police Scotland’s Guidance on
Serious Organised Crime and Business Exploitation, as mentioned in the Update.
If you have any questions, or if you wish to advise of a
change of contact details, please do not hesitate to contact us.
This email has been sent to the Standards Officers and other
nominated contacts within:
My colleague Kirsteen has been collating information about local resilience resources in East Lothian which CoEL is using to connect carers to local support as necessary. While there our focus is on support that would be relevant for carers, we wanted to share this with others as it will be of relevance to all of us. It is also a live document so please do let my colleague Kirsteen know if there are other groups who should be included or any other issues and if you have your own listing please let us know and we will try to collate them all. It is worth flagging that groups noted in Red are “official” groups covered operating under cover of East Lothian Council insurance – others are informal groups who have come together in response to Coronavirus.
We know from recent public statements that the pandemic is
likely be disruptive to our own lives, the way we provide care and may be a
cause of natural anxiety.
A spotlight is shining on the important work we do every day to care for our fellow citizens when they are very unwell. Amid the anxiety about the impact of the pandemic, there is a fresh appreciation and gratitude for our labour and a desire to support you as best we can as you look after people with coronavirus.
The Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland has today launched a stakeholder survey seeking feedback on our roles and our work. The aim of the survey is to gather the views of people who have been in touch with the Commission, either on a personal or professional basis. We are looking to find out how well each of our roles and responsibilities is understood, and to hear about how well you think we are doing.
This survey is being conducted by Wellside Research Ltd., an independent research company based in Scotland. All responses are anonymous and will be treated as confidential. Wellside Research will not share individual responses with the Mental Welfare Commission. The survey will take around 15-20 minutes to complete and is available here.
The survey also contains information about a stakeholder event we are holding on 10 March so that we can get more detailed views about people’s experiences of the Commission. The event has limited places, so if you would be interested in taking part, please contact Elaine Wilson-Smith from Wellside Research, by phone on 0131 677 5522 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please contact Elaine if you have any questions on the survey itself, too. We invite anyone who has been in contact with us, whether on a regular basis or as a one-off contact, to take part and give us their views. And please do circulate it amongst your networks.
The 2020 Scottish Social Services Awards will open for nominations on Monday 13th January 2020.
This year the awards are merging with the Scottish Association
of Social Work awards. The new
partnership will see categories introduced for a Social Worker and Student Social
Worker of the Year.
Other changes also include updated categories about ethical
practice from the Scottish Social Services Council and leadership in social
work from Social Work Scotland.
To mark the merger the ceremony will take place at a new
venue in Edinburgh. Finalists and guests will be invited to a special evening
event due to take place at The Hub on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile from 6pm on
Wednesday 3 June 2020.
The full list of categories and entry guidance can be viewed
at www.sssa.scot alongside some handy hints
and tips and former winning entries.
People have until the 21st February 2020 to enter
or nominate an individual or team for an award.